Tuesday, June 19, 2018

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Updated Instacart Shopper Guide


This will be an Instacart shopper guide. I know the app has been around for some time now. The company started in 2012 delivering groceries across the United States and Canada.  Since then they added a ton of cities and stores to their coverage.  During this time things have changed and they've changed rapidly. So I think many of you may benefit from an updated guide. I know I would have when I got started. I have only been using the app for around a year. Some people have been using it for much longer. They will tell you how it's changed over the course over the last couple of years. I can tell you things are not the same as they were when I started a little less than a year ago. In any event, I want to give you the best shot possible to make as much money as possible.  All of us use these apps to get paid right?



Since you are here you have may already be signed up. If you have not please feel free to use my Code below.

 Referral Code: ERICH2171A9


What Is InstaCart?


InstaCart is a grocery delivery service that allows people to go online and order either by their site or by their app. It is currently the only grocery delivery app that delivers in less than 1 hour. Customers shop from any of their favorite stores. And Instacart will do the rest. Browse every product you can imagine. Including organic, antioxidant, gluten-free, local products, etc. The order is hand-picked by a professional shopping contractor. They do not just do the basic grocery store shopping for customers. Customers can also get their pet store, and warehouse club shopping is done by them as well.


The app allows customers to build a grocery list from stores in their local area. The list they create will come to a personal shoppers cellphone. The shopper will go out to the store. Then pick the customers items. The customers will receive updates from the shopper while they shop for them. Finally, the shopper drops the groceries off on the customer's front doorstep.  In under an hour in some cases. Or whatever preferred to time the customer chooses to have it scheduled. If the customer is happy with the delivery they have an option of tipping the shopper. Shoppers can expect to have their earnings deposited directly into their bank account every week.

Work Requirements


As with any other side gig app, you will have to be able to pass a background check. You are also required to have a valid driver's license and a clean driving record


How-To Guide


1. Sign Up With Referral Code


The first thing you do is obviously sign up on their site. Then download the Shopper app. You will complete your signup paperwork on the app. During this process is when shoppers can enter a referral code. This is the only time you can do so.  Referral Code: ERICH2171A9




2. Join Local Facebook Group While You Wait


After you have that complete you will have to wait for your background check to clear.  How long you have to wait will depend on what all you might have going on in your life. For some people, it's very quick.  For other people, it might take some time. You will have to put in your personal information.  I know I hate putting in my information online too. I always wonder if this a scam? Why do I have to give them my social security number? The answer is yes for any of these types of questions.  For any of the app-based job like this, you have to take a chance and put your information out there.
I can't say that there's no one out there trying to scam people and get their information but I can say in order to come on board as an independent contractor with these companies you are going to have to put your information in many times.  Including your social security number so they can do that background check.  While you are waiting for your background check to clear. Look on Facebook for local Instacart groups. This will give you a place where a lot of your questions can be answered.

3. Get Your Shoppers Card


When your background check clears you should get a message saying they are sending your shoppers card. It's a green debt Instacart Master Card they assign their shoppers to make purchases for the customers. They will pre-authorize the amount needed depending on who you're shopping for.  You do not use your own money and have them pay you back.
So you can not get started until your card arrives which may take a week plus. If you are ready to start right away you may find the local Facebook group you found while waiting for your background check very helpful.  They let me know I could go to my local Whole Foods and pick up your card once I had been approved. All I had to do is show up and let the person who works for Instacart at Whole Foods know I was there to pick up my card.

4. Pick Up Hours - Early Access 


Next, you want to do is you go to the app and you try to pick up hours.  This can be a kind of frustrating, to say the least.  They have a thing called early access that helps you get hours.  Early access starts on Sundays at 9:00 PM your time.  This allows you to go to the app and sign up for hours for following week. Not the next week starting on that Monday. The week after that is what you will be selecting from. So you choose your hours 2 weeks in advance.
It's important to remember there are rules regarding how to keep early access. You must do certain things to keep early access such as work certain number of hours.  Even if you have early access it's still hard to get hours. By 9:30 Sunday all the hours may already be gone.  As you can imagine the first couple of weeks a lot of people get quite frustrated.
What are you going to do in this situation?
The first thing you want to do is jump on another side gig app. Not saying give up and quit. I always recommend not relying on just one side gig app. If this app is slow, then open up Uber or Lift to get some hours. You do not want to rely on just one app.
Second, you are going to want to check your shopper app extremely often.  What I mean is look at the app every hour each day.  People will drop hours all the time. So you want to be the one to get see them first.

5. Be Ready To Go 


When a shopper is assigned an order they will receive a message on their phone. About a half an hour before the start of your shift you should get an email or a text.  The message should say something like your shift starts in 30 minutes. The message will direct you to which store location you should go to. When that shift starts you need to be within the boundaries of the zone you were assigned to. If you're lucky enough, you might live in your zone. If not be ready to run out the door when they send your batch.

6.  Plan Out Your Route 



Once you arrived at the store, you will hold down the button on the InstaCart Shoppers app to get started.  The app will ask you what store you would like to go to. After you select the store, you will see the customers shopping list under the to do screen.  Scroll through and look and see what items you will be shopping for that way you can plan your route in the most efficient manner possible.
You may be assigned more than one batch or order. In this case, you should shop for both at the same time if you can handle it. When I do this I am very careful about not getting orders mixed up.


7. Pick The Assigned Order or Batch. 




Click on items and the app will show a little bit more detail about it. This will make it easier to find. Keeping a good rating on the app will help you. So you need to make sure the customer is going to be happy with your picks. By this I mean do things like checking the expiration date on the items before you pick them. Ok, you have found the item you are picking.  Now click "found item". This will open up the camera on your phone. Now you will scan the barcode on the item.  That will confirm you picked the right item. Instacart verifies you pick the right item by its UPC code. The item will be moved from you to "do screen" to your "done screen".

8. Deliver Your Batch or Order


Make sure your delivery is on time. Not only will not doing so hurt your rating. It will also hurt your tips!  That's it!

Is InstaCart A Scam


Although they ask for some very sensitive information that makes you cringe upon being asked. They are far from a scam. This is a legit app that has been around since 2012 paying their shoppers and serving their customers.  That being said anytime you put your personal information out there you risk the possibility of the info slipping into the wrong hands. However, if you want to do any of these type of side gig apps you have to put your information out there. This goes for any legit money making opportunity you will find as an independent contractor. 

Final Tip


One thing I did not mention during the guide is to take care of your Phone! Your phone is going to be your best friend while you are working your shift. Make sure it's properly charged up, has enough free space, and has cell service. I hope this guide helps!

If you guys can think of any questions I did not answer. Or if I left anything that you would like to add. Also would love to hear from you guys about your experience with InstaCart as well. Is it your favorite side gig or have you found better? Please let me know in the comments below.


If you like this post on Instacart you may also like
5 Jobs Like Uber - Work Anytime You Want
GrubHub vs Postmates - Who To Work For? 

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